What is the importance of a balanced diet? Do we really need to know what a balanced diet is and why is it necessary as a part of our daily diet plans?
What is a Balanced Diet?
A balanced diet is one which contains all the essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, lipids (fats) and water. In order to find all these essential elements in our food, it is important to educate ourselves about food groups.
Essential Components of a Balanced Diet
Carbohydrates can be attained by having brown bread, brown rice, grains, cereal, pasta, fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, pulses, beans etc.
Proteins are found in meat like beef, poultry and fish, pulses, nuts, grains and tofu. Vitamin rich foods contain fresh fruits and vegetables. Fresh fruit juice and vegetable stock is a quick way to get it. Vitamin D can be consumed from sunlight and milk, C from orange juice, E from nuts etc.
Dairy and meat products are rich in minerals and so are vegetables and fruits. Almost 8-9 glasses of water should be consumed every day. Avoid bottled water and use clean tap water instead. A balanced diet keeps the body healthy and active. It helps in supplying every essential nutrient to the body and prevents it from diseases and malnutrition. Let’s have a look at the advantages of the main essential elements which constitute a balanced diet.
Carbohydrates help in providing quick energy and help with constipation issues. Whole grains help in keeping the blood sugar and insulin levels in control and prevents type 2 diabetes and heart diseases.
Proteins help in building and repairing tissues and muscles. They also help in keeping the skin fresh and aid cell growth and repair.
Vitamin A helps with vision issues, B in energy production and stress reduction. Vitamin D makes bones and teeth stronger and C helps against aging. Vitamin deficiency can lead to weakness of the immune system, scurvy, osteoporosis and certain cancers.
Minerals help in decision making, improving metabolism,calcium strengthens the bones, iron prevents fatigue, and energy is produced by iodine.70-80% of the body is made up of water and it helps against dehydration and keeps up fluid production. Water also helps in maintaining pH levels and chemical reactions in the body.
Dietary reference values DRVs are available to help compare the average amount of intake an individual must have according to their age and gender. We must know that an unbalanced diet can cause developmental issues, impairment of nervous system and malfunction of body tissue, muscles and bone production.